Washington Wrap Up – May 8, 2018

Below is an abridged version of RAMC’s weekly Washington Wrap Up. Find out more about Wrap Up and other RAMC resources here.

May 7, 2018

The Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee on Appropriations will accept written testimony from outside witnesses on fiscal year (FY) 2019 appropriations. The deadline to submit written testimony is Friday, June 1.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced a total of approximately $693 million in new Federal assistance under the Immediate Aid to Restart School Operations (K-12 Restart) program. Under the K-12 Restart program, ED is authorized to award funds to State educational agencies (SEAs) with students and schools impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and the 2017 California wildfires.

Texas, along with six other States (Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, and West Virginia), filed a lawsuit in Federal court seeking an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

ED’s proposed Borrower Defense to Repayment (BDR) regulations have moved to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. This signals that in the coming weeks ED will have a formal set of proposed BDR regulations out for public comment.

ED announced the approval of South Carolina and Virginia’s consolidated State plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

ED stated, in a filing made in connection with ongoing litigation protesting ED contracting decisions, that it would be cancelling two recent contracts awarded for debt collection of delinquent student loans. In the filing, ED stated that it planned to take steps to reduce the number of borrowers who default on their student loans, reducing the need for the current number of contractors collecting on such loans.

News reports indicate that the Administration intends to submit its rescissions proposal to Congress on Monday, and that the request will be for $11 billion in cuts from funds appropriated prior to FY2018. Reports also indicate that the Administration may consider submitting additional rescissions proposals in the coming months.

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]
Betsy DeVos encourages grads at commencement to ’embrace the mess’ [The Hill]

Education Dept. cancels contracts with two firms to collect on student debt [The Washington Post]

Colleges prepare to treat opioid misuse, but see few cases [Inside Higher Ed]

Maryland governor plans to sign free community college bill into law [The Washington Post]

College Apologizes After Native American Students’ Visit Is Sidelined By Police [National Public Radio]

Private sector lenders ready to expand into graduate loan market [Inside Higher Ed]

California university students are stretching…and it is all happening in writing class, not the gym [EdSource]

Virginia’s community colleges shed students amid declining enrollments nationwide [Inside Higher Ed]

Op-Ed: Trust students, not tests, to open pathway to community college success [EdSource]

Op-Ed: The STEM crisis: What the growing skills gap means for the economy and where we go from here [The Hill]

Community college students in Calif. leave millions of federal aid on the table [Inside Higher Ed]

Ivy Tech lowers student loan default rate [Inside Higher Ed]

These 2-Year and 4-Year College Partnerships Keep Students From Falling Through the Cracks [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

Publishers race to reduce costs of digital textbooks [Inside Higher Ed]

Committee News and Schedule, Schedule for House and Senate Floor:
House Education and the Workforce Committee
Press Release: This Week: Subcommittee Hearing on the Opioid Epidemic, Subcommittee Hearing on Closing the Skills Gap

Senate Committee on Appropriations
Press Release: Senate Appropriations Schedule for the Week of May 7, 2018

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration:
White House Press Release: President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate and Appoint Personnel to Key Administration Posts

ED Media Advisory: U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to Deliver Commencement Address at Ave Maria University

ED Blog: Soliciting Input for the Statewide Family Engagement Centers

Legislative Movement in Congress Last Week:
The House and Senate were in recess last week.

Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices:
ED Grant Notice: Assistance for Arts Education Program (AAE)—Arts in Education National Program (AENP) Grants. Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: June 6, 2018. Applications due: July 6, 2018.

ED Comment Request: National Household Education Survey 2019 (NHES:2019). Comments due July 2, 2018.

ED Comment Request: Rehabilitation Training Program. Comments due July 3, 2018.

ED Grant Notice: 2018 Defraying Costs of Enrolling Displaced Students Program. Applications due June 4, 2018.

ED Grant Notice: 2018 Emergency Assistance to Institutions of Higher Education Program. Pre-applications due June 4, 2018. Applications due August 1, 2018.